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Injuries of Hospital Employees From Needles and Sharp Objects

  • Julie T. Jacobson (a1), John P. Burke (a1) and Marlyn T. Conti (a1)

Abstract

During a 30-month period in our 570-bed private community hospital, employees reported 218 injuries from needles and other sharp objects. Five of these injuries were from needles used on patients known to be hepatitis B surface antigens (HBsAg) positive. Four were from blades or scalpels used on HBsAg positive patients. A nother needle injury resulted in serious Staphylococcus aureus infection. Thirty-three percent of the injuries were from improperly disposed objects, generally in trash baskets in patient rooms. Housekeeping employees were the “innocent victims” of more than one-half of the injuries from such improperly disposed objects. A survey of reporting practices revealed housekeepers reported all their injuries. Underreporting was identified as a problem with laboratory personnel and nurses who tended to make their own judgment concerning the extent of the injury. An effective innovation resulting from our survey was the use of plastic irrigation bottles as an inexpensive and readily available container for disposal of sharps.

Copyright

Corresponding author

LDS Hospital, 525 Eighth Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT 84143

References

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1.McCormick, R, Maki, DG, Epidemiology of needle puclure wounds in hospital employees. Am J Med 1981;70:928932.
2.Reed, JS, Anderson, AC, Hodges, GR, Needlestick and puncture wounds: Definition of the problem. Am J Infect Control 1980;8:101106.
3.Immune globulins for protection against viral hepatitis. Recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 1981;30:423435.

Injuries of Hospital Employees From Needles and Sharp Objects

  • Julie T. Jacobson (a1), John P. Burke (a1) and Marlyn T. Conti (a1)

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